My stomach's on fire ...
Ma'ajeen is my desire ...
Eating Meat Meat Meat ...
Eating Meat Meat Meat ..
Party people ... all around Salalah .. Eating Meat Meat Meat ...
Throw your hands in the air!
How are you all? I'm in a wacky mood today, but I promised you my Eid post, so here goes..
However, Dhofaris seemed to have other plans. I could not even get near the centre of town during Eid. I tried FIVE TIMES to buy Halwa at my favourite Halwa shop but I couldn't get near it! It was so crowded! Women on thobe street شارع عطية were busy buying clothes and blocking all traffic. I couldn't enter any supermarket because it was crowded with people buying the exact-same-items. More like Ramadan shopping! I decided not to go out. I paid my cousin a fee to go and buy Halwa for our house. He was pleased and keeps on offering his services. Perhaps he sees a potential source of income. (he's 17).
On the morning of Eid, I woke up at dawn for prayers. Believe it or not, there was like 20 seconds of rain but then it stopped. I then dozed off again knowing that I'd wake up to the sound of the Imam's voice and Eid prayers soon enough. I woke up again to the sound of 'Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar!' (God is Great), and just like a child I jumped out of bed excited for Eid. It's was 7 a.m. I know some of you are thinking 'Why wake up so early? No one wakes up early except children'. Well, to you pessmists, Eid is a celebration and I choose to celebrate. I put on a new bright green Father of the Tail, applied bright red lipstick, adjusted my poof (pompom, kammasha, qamboo3a, etc) and joined my family for a hearty breakfast. The men had already left for prayers so it was just my mother and aunt and sisters.
After breakfast we got to work preparing the Majlis for guests. We knew that by 8:30 the kids would be on the streets in their new clothes. Sure enough, by 8:25 the doorbell rang and it was the first batch of kids who came in giggling and sat down to introduce themselves and eat sweets. I gave them Eidia (Eid Money for kids) and they asked me 'Is it true that you drive a car?'. Umm.. yes? They were fascinated. Poor things. Off they went and the next batch arrived and it continued like that until 1:00.
Meanwhile, after Eid prayers the men went off to the 'garbeeb' (our plain near the mountains) to slaughter a cow. They came home bloody and tired bearing lots and lots of meat. Off they went to get ready for visiting, and my aunt busied herself with the task of making Eid ma'ajeen, which is basically small pieces of beef cooked in fat and salted and then if kept in a sealed container, can last for months. It's really tasty. I helped her cut up the meat even though I hate the sight of it.
.A 3:00 the 'adult' visiting started. . . and it contined for then next six days NON-STOP. I spent my entire Eid holidays either visiting people or receiving people. I must have seen at least 300 relatives and neighbors during Eid week. The same scenario exactly:
'Hello! Eid Mubarak! How are you? How is your father? How is your mother? How is your brother? How is his wife? Any baby? How is your health? Are you married yet?'.
.Every single majlis had the exact same food items. The big dish of ma'ajeen, Omani coffee, Omani Halwa, Danish cookies, nuts, Halwa bread, and then Vimto and mango-flavored water. I'm not complaining. I'm merely wondering why Dhofaris can't be more creative food-wise. At every single house you were FORCED to eat at least three or four pieces of Ma'ajeen. If you're visiting ten houses a day.... 10*4 = 40 pieces of Ma'ajeen a day. 40*6 days = 240 pieces of ma'ajeen in six days. Beef. Eating meat meat meat .. imagine the cholestrol and blood pressure problems in Dhofar after Eid. Eek!
Another thing that surprises me is that during Eid, it's suddenly fine to receive men and entertain male cousins, etc, whereas during the rest of the year it's 3aib عيب .. weird. I met so many male relatives, and I can't even remember half their names.
Wow how funny ma3jiin is called odka3 in Somali. Its basically the same thing, but not as much salt. They used to take it on journeys I was told. I get so tired of all the sweets when visiting houses during Eid. But it is cool to see old friends too!ReplyDelete
You are a girl..ReplyDelete
Do you think it is a good chance for girls and boys(relatives) to see each other ?
Stacy, I had no idea Somalis made majeen. Of course it makes complete sense for long journeys given that Dhofaris and Somalis were and still are nomads.ReplyDelete
Ma7feef, of course. As they say in Dhofar; there are three places where a man can find a wife/see her face/ chat to her:
1) the Hospital
2) the Eid
Wife from a picnic?!ReplyDelete
During Eid many families from the 'city' go on picnics. Cousins can see cousins. Normally these tribes don't allow their daughters to see their male cousins except for these occasions. They're not open like mountain tribes. So yes if a man wants to marry his cousin he can use Eid as an excuse to see her to make up his mind :-)ReplyDelete
we see it as a normal event regarding to paying a visit in our province,but special one religiously.ReplyDelete
yes that's why you did write during those days any because EID is a golden opportunity for you to see people and have fun with relatives. I see may Allah help you to overcome difficulities.
Happy Belated Eid Nadia.ReplyDelete
I had more or less a similar Eid scenario like yours, the only difference is that I got to see WAY less people than yourself.
I love Eids :D
Wow 300 people in such a short span of time mashAllah Nadia looks like your entirely family resides in Dhofari.I wish we celebrated eid that way too.But my extended family is spread all over the world from India to Australia the US,UK,Canada,Middle eat.Wait, we don't have family in AfricaReplyDelete
Anyway so you had a blast on eid :)Yayy thats what eid's meant for awesome food family time
Although Majeen is now considered as a fatty stuff that can boost your weight, blood pressure and bad cholesterol concentration rapidly, but it used to be one of the best methods for food preservation in the past, when Dhofaris and Omanis in general did not have the means of preservations like Fridges and freezers.ReplyDelete
The only difference between then and now that our grandfathers used to work, walk, move a lot and so they stayed healthier with these kind of heavy meals, though it was not as available as now off course.
But it is good from time to time to have it, isn't,,,, but be careful because once you start eating it, it becomes like a non-stop process, very seductive.
Love your blog. Reading it in Wales at the moment.
Really miss my trips to the Dhofar region and Salalah.
You havent written much lately.ReplyDelete
I don't eat ma3geen or whatever. I'm a vegetarian Dhofari. Can you believe that, Nadia? lol =pReplyDelete
It's difficult to survive when you're a vegetarian in an Arab society. But my Eid was not that interesting. It eneded with me falling and hurting myself when I was skaterolling. (A Dhofari skateroller, believe it. lol!)